Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Phyrexia life counter

 We will start giving out the limited edition Phyrexia life counter this Friday with the purchase of either a Phyrxia Complete Bundle or $75 worth of sealed Magic product. We only have a limited number of these so it is first come first serve.

Saturday, February 25, 2023


WotC plans to bring back Planechase cards in the March of the Machines set. For those not familiar with them, Planechase cards, introduced about 2009 are cards that, once put into play, remain in play and affect all players until they are removed or replaced. The format did not go over very well with players when first introduced. I beleive I saw less than half a dozen games played with Planechase cards before they went out of print.

The new Commander decks for March of the Machines will each contain 10 Planechase cards, 5 completely new and 5 reprints of earlier cards.  Since I hve not heard anyone show any interest or enthusiasm in these, I expect them to do about as well as the first go round. 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

March of The Machine

 Here is a look at some of the  upcoming card treatments for March of the Machine, including the return of Planechase cards. No idea how or where the Planechase cards will be packaged, although randomly placed inside of Commander Decks for the set makes the most sense.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023


 In Janurary of 2022, a Tennessee school board voted to ban Maus for "book’s content, its age appropriateness and the best way to teach children about the Nazis’ persecution of European Jews during World War II". As a result, the graphic novel shot back up to the top of the best seller lists. We sold more copies of Maus in 2022 than we had in the previous 5 years. 

The lesson, of course, is if you want more people to read a book, ban it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Leiji Matsumoto Dies

 Leiji Matsumoto, the creator of  such early classic space scifi manga as Queen Esmereldas and Galaxy Express 999, has died of actute heart failure at age 85.  His best known works were those derived from his Space Pirate Captain Harlock series such as Space Battleship Yamato.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Commander Cards in March of the Machines

 The latest controversy to hit Magic play is the annoucement by WotC that is will include an additional Commander card in pre-release kits for March of the Machines. No cards will be removed from the kits. This will be an additional unusable card included. According to Wotc:

"The intention is not to only cater to Commander players, but rather include something that may make them (and players of other eternal formats) more interested in participating in Prerelease. "

The concern of course is that players have always been told that all cards  in their pre-release kits are usable in the tournament and this Commander specific card cannot be.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

33rd Anniversary

 Until 4:30 today , you can get a ticket for a prize in our drawing celebrating out 33rd anniversary.  You get  one ticket for coming in, one with your preferred customer card and one for each stamp earned on  a Castle Card today.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

CAH Clones


1)      Cards Against Humanity clones. We’ve already seen a few of these. Crabs Adjust Humidity from Vampire Squid and Personally Incorrect from Lion Rampant come to mind offhand and I spotted several more either in development or already launched, such as Heebie Jeebies from Zipwhaa. The ones I saw all use the basic Apples to Apples mechanic of having players choose cards and a judge deciding which one is the “best” in anywhere from mildly to highly offensive combinations of cards. This indicates the approaching crest of the popularity of Cards Against Humanity.

 As I tell the students in my Principles of Marketing and Product and Pricing Strategy classes, every new product goes through the Product Life Cycle of Introduction, Growth, Maturity and Decline. During the Introductory and Growth stages, the new product sees heavy demand (assuming the launch is successful) and double or even triple digit sales increases, much like we have seen with Cards Against Humanity for the past couple of years. 

A key marker of when a product moves from the Growth stage to the Maturity stage is the appearance of knockoffs and “me too” products. By this point in the original product’s lifecycle, other manufacturer have noticed its success, decide there is additional unfulfilled demand for it and come up with their own product to fill the perceived gap in the market. Unfortunately, this also means demand for the product has probably topped off and, while growth will continue, it will no long see the outsized increases of the past. Ergo, while we will still see respectable Cards Against Humanity sales, stores won’t see near the levels that they did in the past.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

GW Pricing

 GW prices on a number of items will increase on March 6. Stock up now while  you can.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Family Games: The Best 100


Family Games:  The Best !00, though out of print is a wonderful book, 380 pages of commentary by some of the top minds in the game industry  (Richard Garfield, Steve Jackson, Kenneth Hite, James Ernest, Robin Laws) on what each feels is one of the most enjoyable and most cleverly designed games from the last one hundred years. Some of the choices are unsurprising.  

Lewis Pulsipher picks Blockus and Will Hindmarch chooses Cranium.  However, there are a number of rather surprising choices as well.  James Ernest opts for Candy Land as a game that appeals to both 3 year olds and professional game designers, while Dale Donovan picks The Omega Virus, which Milton Bradley released in 1992 (and I remember seeing under the arm of every other attendee at that year’s GENCON) for a design that’s “so absorbing, so immersive, so well conceived that it gets right under a player’s skin”.

 Other games chosen include Clue, Great Dalmuti, Magi-Nation and Faery’s Tale Deluxe.  Even Monopoly has a fan in Steve Jackson, who lauds the game’s combination of skill and luck as well as the fact that it has one of the first official expansions for a board game, Stock Exchange, which released in 1936 and the first electron expansion for a boardgame, Monopoly Playmaster, released in 1982.